In 2016, missionaries Norine Brunson and her husband, Pastor Andrew Brunson, were arrested in Turkey. Norine was released 12 days later, but Andrew remained in prison for two years. Norine remained in Turkey throughout his imprisonment to support Andrew and fight for his freedom.
Listen as Norine tells VOM Radio how she helped Andrew battle for his faith and freedom as she watched him suffer and as they both missed significant family events in the United States during Andrew’s imprisonment.
Hear Norine describe the lowest point in Andrew’s imprisonment and how she saw God bring good out of even the darkest days of Andrew’s discouragement and doubt.
Norine also shares with VOM Radio listeners how they can pray for the nation of Turkey as well as for the families of Christians imprisoned because of their faith in Christ.
Pastor Andrew Brunson, author of a new book called God’s Hostage, was imprisoned in Turkey for two years, and he says every single day was a battle to overcome his fear and grief and anxiety. One of those who inspired him in these battles was Richard Wurmbrand, VOM’s founder. In Part 2 of our interview with Brunson, he explains how Wurmbrand inspired him to dance inside his prison cell. He says he didn’t feel joy or happiness, but he set his will to act joyfully in spite of his feelings.
Brunson was also inspired by another former prisoner for Christ (and VOM Radio guest), Dan Baumann, to lock away doubts and questions and choose to leave those in God’s hand. Brunson says he told God from his prison cell, “I don’t need answers to have a relationship with You.”
Listen as Andrew shares how he came to “embrace my assignment” of being in prison for Christ.
Andrew will share about the song God birthed in his soul while he was locked in prison, and how his heart changed over long months in prison to a posture of faithfulness and trust in spite of not seeing his outward circumstances change. That heart change, he says, was his victory over the terrible circumstances and injustice he faced in prison.
Finally, Brunson will tell the story of a letter he wrote to Norine that clearly demonstrated his changed heart as he expressed commitment to drink every drop that the Lord had ordained for him to drink from the “cup of suffering.”
Pastor Andrew Brunson spent two years in Turkish prisons accused, among other “crimes,” of helping plot a coup against President Erdogan’s government there.
There were very dark days for Brunson, isolated in prison and wondering why God seemed silent in his time of suffering. Listen as he shares how he poured out his frustrations to God, but ultimately chose to lean into God—even if God seemed to remain distant.
Through those dark days, Andrew's wife, Norine served as his pastor and encourager, the only Christian he was allowed contact with. Listen as he tells how she was “heroic” in standing with him in spite of risks to her own freedom.
Pastor Brunson also took strength from the stories of other Christians who suffered persecution. One of those was Richard Wurmbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs and the author of Tortured for Christ and other books. Andrew says he “spent a lot of time with Richard Wurmbrand in prison,” through Richard’s writings.
Andrew tells the entire story in a new book, God’s Hostage, which you can order here (affiliate link).
Prior to the start of Andrew’s trial in Turkey, his daughter Jacqueline was our guest on VOM Radio. You can hear our conversation with her here.